make your own: sand removing powder.

July 15, 2019

This summer I’m packing a secret potion in my tote in the form of cornstarch.

Not cornstarch and anything, just cornstarch plain and simple for getting sand out from between toes (and other bodily crevices where it tends to hold fast).

The beautiful garnet-colored sand from my hometown is one of my very favorite things in the world. On the tops of the beaches, above the high tide mark, the sand is dark purple and it heats up quickly in the summertime. Faye and Silas have gotten wise to the nature-made warming station and when they’re done splashing in the water, they run up to the purple sand and throw themselves on top of it. They’re warm within seconds and covered, from scalp to toe, with sand.

There are showers at the beach, and hoses in backyards, but withstanding a bone-chilling blast of water can be a lot when you’re five (or thirty-five), not to mention the water wasted in the process. For city dwellers in particular, a sandboxed playground doesn’t usually come with an accompanying foot washing station. Cornstarch to the rescue.


+ An old spice jar or powdered sugar shaker

+ Cornstarch

+ Funnel or small spoon


+ Clean out and dry thoroughly an old spice jar.

+ Spoon cornstarch up to the top, taking care not to pack it in so tightly that it can’t sprinkle easily.

+ Screw on the lid and keep a jar in your beach bag, or next to the sand box, or in your bike basket, anywhere, in other words, where it might be useful.

+ NB: If you don’t have an empty spice jar hanging around, or if you’re unsure about carrying around glass, consider a stainless steel powdered sugar shaker. Just as effective and no risk of breaking!

The cornstarch acts to remove the moisture that causes sand to stick to skin. After a quick application, both will rub easily away. (Lots of folks use baby powder, but corn starch works just as well and wasn’t the subject of a $4.7 billion lawsuit!)

Sprinkle cornstarch liberally on sandy toes, hands, legs, bums, et cetera. Rub the cornstarch in gently and brush off both sand and starch with your hands or a small towel.

Et voila. Sand-free toes, guaranteed. (No guarantees on a sand-free sandwich.)

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  • Reply Elise July 15, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    Brilliant! I knew talcum powder worked brilliantly at removing sand but have always been hesitant to use it due to chemical/health concerns. Will give this a try instead.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 16, 2019 at 10:15 am

      Yes! So much better and works just as well!

  • Reply Aubérie July 15, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    If only I knew it years ago! Thanks for the tip!

  • Reply Angel July 15, 2019 at 11:48 pm

    Thanks for the tip!

    • Reply Sue July 16, 2019 at 10:13 am

      Absolutely brilliant tip, thank you

  • Reply Taramunda July 16, 2019 at 3:03 am

    When I was a child, my mum would ask us to walk up and down in the grass! And all the sand will come off just like magic 🙂

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 16, 2019 at 10:14 am

      Ha! Yes. More difficult for little bums, but a good start!

  • Reply Sunni July 16, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    Oooo those sunglasses int eh first picture look dreamy – do you happen to remember the brand?
    I’m in the market for some eye protection 🙂

  • Reply Ann October 6, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Will this work for pets?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE October 7, 2019 at 8:52 am

      Not sure! Worth a shot?


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